So, Brandon, how did you end up involved with The Hawaiian Island Detective Club?
I met Leilani in math class and then discovered that she lived just down the street from me. Leilani got me involved in some mystery thing happening at the music school, but I totally do not like spying and investigating. I’m a surfer guy and I like cars, too, just like Sam. He’s a pretty cool guy. ‘Course Maile and Leilani think Sam’s belching is annoying, but I think it’s pretty cool and wish I had that skill.
So, if you don’t like mysteries, were you able to help Leilani, Maile, Sam and Kimo catch the culprit at all?
(Brandon groans) Yeah, I did volunteer to help Leilani a little, but never again! It ended in disaster.
Hmm . . . that’s not what I heard.
Well, I guess it’s how you look at it. Believe me—I won’t be doing any more snooping or going on any stake-outs again.
(Brandon sighs) ’Course it may not be so easy if I’m hanging out with Leilani. She’s way into this detective stuff.
Oh! So you and Leilani are hanging out, huh?
Uh . . . (Brandon’s face turns bright red) Sometimes we go surfing . . . and maybe get some shave-ice.
You’re new to the island, right?
Yup. Just moved here from Oregon. My mom got totally burned out on all the foul weather there. She wanted lots more sunshine.
I didn’t know they surfed in Oregon.
They do, but you have to wear a wetsuit most of the year. I have a bunch of friends in California so I visited them a lot to ride some great waves and work on my skills.
Thanks for visiting, Brandon, and I hope we’ll hear more from you—maybe even see you involved in another mystery!
Yeah, right! (Brandon waves me off, and I chuckle)
Mr. Edwards, how are you connected with the kids of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club?
I’m a math teacher at the school. Leilani, Maile and Brandon are in my class. Through them I met Sam. And Kimo . . . well, he’s an amazing kid and my daughter, Abby, adores him. She and Kimo are in the same ukulele class. ’Course Kimo is annoyed by her constant attention. (Mr. Edwards chuckles) I think Leilani finds it amusing—kind of payback for all the annoying stuff Kimo does to her.
I hear the kids call you “Mean Mr. Edwards.”
(He laughs and shakes his head) I figure any good teacher has high expectations of his students. But I also try to temper that with encouragement and praise. Leilani sees that “mean” side more often than she’d like.
About Leilani, she’s pretty good at math, huh?
Yes, she is. That’s why my expectations of her are really high. I even invited her to participate in the Math Masters Club, and she’s doing quite well. Can’t wait for the first competition to see her shine. I know Olivia will be very proud of her.
Olivia? Oh, yes! I heard there was something going on between you and Leilani’s mom.
(Mr. Edwards’ cheeks turn red) Olivia is a wonderful woman and she’s done a great job with Leilani and Kimo, especially during this past year after her husband’s death.
How do Leilani and Kimo feel about you and their mom spending time together?
Kimo seems fine. He’s more worried about having Abby hanging around. (Mr. Edwards sighs) Leilani is definitely having a difficult time. She feels I’m trying to replace her dad . . . and that her mom doesn’t love her dad anymore.
That’s a tough thing.
Yeah, but Olivia is amazing. She’s taking her time with our relationship and spending time reassuring Leilani of her dad’s place in her heart forever. No one will ever replace him, but someday someone will add something different and meaningful to her heart.
(I grin) Thanks for visiting, Mr. Edwards. Good luck with all those crazy connections you and Abby have with the Akamai family.
So, Leilani, what was it like being an undercover detective at the music school?
Uhhh . . . no . . . I mean, Brandon’s cool and all. (Leilani blushes) I needed a new surfing buddy since Kainoa’s so busy with the high school surfing team, and Brandon’s a great surfer.
I’ve heard something about you tossing Brandon aside like a moldy mango. You gonna do that for real?
(Leilani bursts out laughing) No! That’s just something that annoying Carly Rivers says. Brandon’s cool and we both like shave-ice too.
Oh, yes! Did I hear something about a funny incident at the shave-ice shop?
Yeah, well, I was a mess, but at least the slime covered the blotches on my face.
Long story. But I can tell you this—hives are no fun.
Speaking of “no fun,” did I hear something about that “Mean Mr. Edwards” making you participate in Math Masters?
Yeah. It’s actually kinda fun—lots of interesting and challenging math games, but I’m totally scared of the competitions.
And what about your mom and Mr. Edwards?
(Leilani rolls her eyes) Kimo thinks Mr. Edwards is Mom’s boyfriend, but I didn’t think so at first because I couldn’t believe she’d forget about Dad like that. (She sighs) But then Mom explained that there’s lots of love in her heart for Dad, me, Kimo and anyone else who might come into our lives.
Your mom is very wise, Leilani. Thanks for visiting.
What’s happening at the music school?
Someone’s leaving threatening notes on music stands, in cases, on stacks of music and in the bathrooms. Kimo takes ukulele lessons and is very concerned about his teacher, Mrs. Lee, the kids and the music school, so he asks Leilani to join the class to investigate the mystery. She’s not happy since she’s a surfer girl, not a musician. Maile and Sam join her in class which makes the whole thing bearable.
What inspired you to write mysteries for kids and this series?
I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!
Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.
I have always loved Hawaii ever since I lived there while attending The University of Hawaii. I combined that with my interest in writing for ages 8-12 years and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club was born!
The three books in this series are entitled Pineapples in Peril, Menehunes Missing, and Ukuleles Undercover.
What advice do you have for new writers?
If you’re goal oriented, try setting a reasonable word count goal that allows for you to get ahead at times and gives you make-up time as well. Also, set aside that time to simply sit down and write—don’t go to any e-mails, facebook pages, etc. It’s all about planting yourself in front of that computer and pounding out the words!
What do you do for fun and relaxation when you’re not writing?
I love to grow veggies, blueberries and raspberries on my deck. I also love to sing, and am part of my church’s drama team—challenging, yet rewarding. I sometimes work-out with my son and do push-ups with the Oregon Duck (the U of O mascot) whenever Oregon scores—and, yes, they’re men’s push-ups! I’m practicing for another great fall of football and push-ups!
Tell us a little about your family:
I have a great husband, three amazing kids and two adorable Persian cats, Nala and Thor.
My oldest son, Ian, has his own home and works for Nautilus. My daughter, Ashley, is married to a wonderful man, Dave. She works for Portland State University and he is a lawyer for a Portland, Oregon firm. They just made me a first-time “Tutu” with the birth of their son, Ewan. My youngest son, Shane, wants to be an artist for a Graphic Novel company. In between working at a movie theater, he’s busy working on projects—not unlike being an author!
How can your readers connect with you?
My website address is www.cheryllinnmartin.com
I also have a blog all about Hawaii at www.lifeinflip-flops.blogspot.com
You can also connect with me on my facebook author page at www.facebook.com/authorcheryllinnmartin
Twitter at http://twitter.com/clinnmartin
E-mail me at email@example.com
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